Campaign starts as drivers ignore road laws

| 11/02/2013

_DSC7683-web.jpg(CNS): With the continued poor standard of driving on Cayman’s roads, especially with people ignoring the new phone bans and the old DUI laws, the RCIPS and Streetskill team are launching a campaign against drunk drivers and people using their cell phones behind the wheel. Since the start of the New Year, Streetskill spokesperson, Chief Inspector Angelique Howell, says that 80 people have been prosecuted for mobile phone use while driving, and 25 arrested for drunk driving. There were 1,245 traffic accidents in 2012, as well as five fatalities and 191 people were arrested for DUI, including the government’s own education minister.

“We hope that people will understand that in both cases there are safer alternatives,” said CI Howell. “If you need to use the phone, pull over to the side of the road. If you are going drinking, arrange for a designated driver. These arrangements may seem very simplistic, or even inconvenient, but they could save your life and those of your family and friends."

In February the campaign will target drivers using mobile phones by highlighting the risks that they pose to themselves, and in March the campaign switches to preventing drunk driving. This year’s campaign will be delivered primarily through media appearances by Howell and other Streetskill members, as well as through public service announcements and social media.

CI Howell said that research in the United States has shown that driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity dedicated to driving by more than a third (Carnegie Mellon 2007). Meanwhile, a Yale study in 2004 confirmed that the amount of alcohol that a driver ingests impairs decision-making and increases risk-taking.

The Streetskill Team is a sub-committee of the National Road Safety Strategy Committee, a group that includes the National Roads Authority, Department of Vehicle and Driver Licensing, the Public Works Department, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service and Government Information Services. Since 2006 it has conducted campaigns on the topics of drunk driving and mobile phone use while driving, but also bike and scooter safety, speeding, and road-crossing guidelines for schoolchildren.

Anyone who would like to obtain more information about these topics should visit the Streetskill website or send an email to

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  1. Cheese Face says:

    Red Bay Primary, every morning, people pulling out and flying down the wrong side of the road to pull in at the car wash. DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT KEYSTONE COPS / NRA. NOW!

    • Anonymous says:

      It is the virtual absence of traffic police,( or traffic police that give a damn), that allows this behaviour to continue. I, like many others have seen policemen driving whilst talking on their mobiles, not indicating and even worse saw one police car being overtaken illegally in WB road at a high rate of knots by a music blairing blacked out window Jamaica mobile and doing absolutely nothing about it. Great leadership examples are our police, the role models that we look up to?? Errr, not.

      Human nature is horrible, people do things because there is no-one to stop them, even though they know it is wrong or illegal. I know of many people here who drink more than they ever would in their home country and still drive, because no one stops them. I admit to being one of those that turns (against the no right turn sign) out of Snug harbour. I would not do that at home, ever. Its no excuse at all, but everyone else does it and does not get caught,(even CIG trucks) so why not?

      Unless the police are more visible and active, learn the laws themselves, or CCTV and speed cameras installed which somebody actually monitors for wreckless/dangerous/drunken/telephone talking/speeding then nothing will change. It is sad, but it is human nature.

  2. Double Yellow says:

    Perhaps the member for North Side could let us know how he feels about double yellow lines, since all laws must be enforced…..?

  3. Gingerbread Man says:

    Can’t catch me.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Dear Police,

    You do not need to vaste government fuel driving around jeopardising others, just stand at ANY of three roads going into GT from EE between 7 and 9 AM or outward between 1630 and 1900. You will fill up quickly CI budget that Mac has so diligently depleted. And, starting2200 onwards on the same roads for speeders, overtakers, illegal lights, you name it.

    Oh, to be ableto do so, dear Police, you will need to study the rules of the road as well. Because, as far as I can see it, you are not complying either. Did you hear for turn indicators? Every car has it. Even police wroom, wroom has it. There is a little lever on the side of the steering wheel which goes up or down depending which way you would like to turn. It is advisible to use it when you would like to indicate your next turn to car behind you or to car approaching from the oposite direction.

    And do not forget roundabouts. Yes there are roundabouts on this little island. Quite a few, actually. Some of them with two lanes, some of them single. You will need to learn how to use them, particularly these complicated ones with two lanes, before you can stop some of your fellow Caymanian. Oh sorry you do not stop Caymanians, there may be one of your ministers drinking and driving. Laws are for expats only aren't they. Because, expats are affraid even of a parking ticket as this may influence their existance on this island on the next VP renewal.

    BTW, dear Police, you are not exempted from the law e.g. mobile ban is applicable to you, as well. But it would seem you do not listen and you do not care, my dear Police.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yup, its clear to me that many cops don’t understand how to use a roundabout or indicate. Too busy, too arrogant, too good a driver to bother with such foolishness. It’s for mere mortals, not them.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Tonight there were two accidents on the West Bay Road just North of Tikki Beach, 5 cars were involved and by the looks of it, it seemed to be drivers running into the back of each other. I have made comments in the past because I feel that the standard of driving here, irrespective of nationality is completely selfish, irresponsible and downright dangerous.

    Here are a few ideas;

    Make the whole of West Bay Road to just past Tikki Beach a 25 mph zone.

    When the dart Road is complete, filter traffic onto it at the Blue Cilantro roundabout and make that stretch of West Bay Road up to Governors Harbour for local traffic only and for access.

    Have more unmarked Police Cars.

    Install Speed Cameras on those stretches of road that the speeders use.

    Increase the fine for mobile phone users to $1000.

    DUI, you are banned for 3 years.

    Focus on dangerous and intimidatory driving.

    The above may seem draconian, but I am getting tired of putting my life on the line every day that I drive to work.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The annoying thing is that it's these idiots that cannot drive are spoiling it for everyone else. On Sunday some fool had lost control of his car on the East-West arterial & flipped it on to it's roof, on a straight road; no other cars involved just a speeding car in the hands of an incompetent.

    I like to go out & "socialise" but you just can't get taxis affordably so after a couple of beers have to drive home. If there's a clampdown, I simply don't go to the bars so the economy loses out. Getting blind drunk is wrong, but I do think Cayman generally has a good balance. It's fools who speed/use phones whilst driving that create many problems, but also, most people here are just bad driviers; they pull out without waiting or looking; cannot handle their cars; have no idea about roundabouts; don't know which lane (if any) is a slow lane; don't comply with traffic signals/lights properly. Police need to enforce general standards of driving far more than worrying about DUI.

    • um says:

      If you can afford to run a car, you can afford a taxi.  To say you will drink and drive because a taxi is too expensive is not a good excuse.  Budget for it.  And you may well think you are the worlds best driver after a few drinks (and I certainly have at times thought it'll be fine when clearly it is not) but let me put it to you this way.  When someone crashes into YOU (and they will), even if not your fault, what are you going to do then?  Run away?  Because you will still be breathalised and you will fail.  Hello court, byebye license.  Think about it that way.  Enjoy the taxi ride home next time.


    • Anonymous says:

      well 10:11

      You hit two on the head with your facts….like throwing the stone in a pig pen…the squeler is the one got hit. 

      Two thumb you down.

      I would like to see the police take these incompetent drivers off the road, and let them go back to driving school. They are like  lethal weapons running around on the streets.

    • Anonymous says:

      Nice to know that your fondness for the drink directly affects the world economy. Please don’t ever stop. So Others Might Eat.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Where I come from any time you are pulled over you are breath tested. speeding, faulty light, document check etc.
    time to bring it in here.
    If we are over the limit our license is immediatly suspended until the court date.
    What do you think Mr. Education minister

  8. Anonymous says:

    I just do not understand the RCIPS and road traffic offences. They talk a strong game, but the everyday evidence belies everything they say. Each day I venture out on the roads and see heavily tinted windows, blacked-out plates, customised blue lights etc, trucks with bald tires, filthy invisible plates and non-working brake-lights – often with workmen sitting in the back, utterly unprotected. And I think: if I can see them, why can’t the police? Do they deliberately turn a blind eye, and if so why? PLEASE explain, Mr Baines. I am a supporter of the police, but this leaves me baffled.

    Those are the ones that just strut along with impunity, breaking the law from beginning to end of their journey. They should be easy targets for a crack-down (just stand by Scotia alongside the Hurleys roundabout and pick them off). I also see outrageous tail-gating, drivers on their cellphones (including a policeman, just yesterday), racers on Shamrock Road (just put a speed-trap there, for God’s sake! This isn’t brain-surgery!) and hundreds of drivers who apparently are just too proud to bother to indicate right or left. What is it with that? Too lazy? Too arrogant? Just too expert a driver to have to bother with such mundane things as telling other road-users you’re about to turn?

    It’s time for zero tolerance. People need to be stopped, charged and banned for anything in my first paragraph. But it won’t happen. At least, not until some truly ghastly accident occurs.

    • Anonymous says:

      This comment is spot on. I drive to and from work everyday and also spent maybe a couple of hours in my car during the day. If i was a traffic cop I could issue at least 5-10 tickets a day for the stuff I see out there everyday, and this doesn't include speeding! What are the police doing?

    • Anonymous says:

      08.35 You took the words right off my laptop. You could have mentioned truck drivers who make as much noise as possible, blasting everyone in their path. Sometimes I hear them from 2 km away through concrete walls and double glazing, as they change gears while slowing down. And whatabout the truck last week that shed some massive rocks in the road as it was leaving Savannah going west?  Three pickups had stopped and one was helping to lift these 30 lb rocks out of the road. Amazing no one was killed, including me, who missed the event by seconds. I called the Police, but who knows what they did about it, if anything. They never give you any feedback.

      • Anonymous says:

        Several years ago I heard from a former traffic cop that ticket-wise trucks are sacred, ie very seldom stopped. I remember that conversation every time I drive behind one of those deafening, filthy, speeding, arrogant, overladen, bald-tyre’d monsters.

        I guess it’s ‘political’ – for which, as ever, read corrupt.

  9. Anonymous says:

    In a nation where the education minister shows such arrogance as to keep his post after a DUI conviction which he tried to weasel out of, what do you expected?  I am quite tipsy when I wrote this, but heck I did not drive home.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I have a blue tooth device, the "best" one, a BlueAnt but I will be driving and talking and it will sudddenlt just drop the connection to my cell and the person is still talking and I have to pick up the handset, then I find myself trying to get the blue tooth reconnected all while trying to frive, continue the important conversation, today for example talking to a potential buyer for my house, and I find the blue tooth device ends up being more distracting and dangerous than just holding the phone to my ear. I have been driving for 35 years, it's second nature to me, I for one can walk and chew gum a the same time, but walk, chew gum and fight with a blue tooth device is too distracting. I did pull over today, twice, and then a bicyclist had to negotiate btween me and the traffic and I don't know the answer, just I find it easier to just talk on the damn phone. But that's me.

    • Anonymous says:

      Tell the person on the other end that you are driving and will call them back, then hang up. Your hands-free set should be able to handle that. Most journeys in Cayman are very short. Call them back at theend of your journey, or find a SAFE spot to pull over, without causing danger to other road users, like cyclists, THEN call them back. Think of others, not just yourself

      • Anonymous says:

        Many people here don’t ‘pull over’. They park it in the middle or partially in the road. What is that?!

    • Anonymass says:

      This post doesn't deserve the thumbs down its getting. It points to a real issue. Its not the phones that are dangerous, its paying attention to anything other than driving. Just the act of having a conversation distracts you. Making 'hands free' laws makes a distinction that isn't really there. (Unless you want to parse dangerous and dangerouser driving.) The solution, to answer the question, is not to drive while talking. Which might mean that people have to return the call they couldn't take when they were otherwise busy. Busy driving several tons of potentially lethal machainery.  

      • Anonymous says:

        That's a good point but it's not the point the poster was making at all. He just thinks he is a wonderful driver who can talk on his phone and drive just fine.

    • Anonymous says:

      Which part of this dont you underestand, you do not drive properly with one hand at your ear and part of your little mind on the conversation. Proof of this is all around and however wonderful you may think you are, you are no exception. The illustration you give of a cyclist being put in danger is another example, just because your phone rings, you dont suddenly get rights to do stupid things.

      I regret to say that your start point of a right to do these things is too prevalent in Cayman, as another poster has pointed out, whatever you may think, the Island is small and journeys are short, try waiting and phoning when it is safe!

  11. St Peter says:

    I was actually planning to have a few drinks this weekend…

    Can the police please say where they will be having road blocks and on which day and at what time?

    • Anonymous says:

      just keep your bb or iphone handy and check it often..others will let you know in plenty of time to avoid them.. 🙂

      • Anonymous says:

        And remembr to flash your best drunken smile to the tree before you hit it

  12. Anonymous says:

    XXXX you need to stop "campaigning" and start ENFORCING!! And not just one or two weeks a year…EVERY DAY, ALL DAY! 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. Leave the Campaigns to the politicians. Bring back a dedicated, highly trained and motivated Traffic department, and I don't mean those eedjuts that struggle to fill out a TOR or a TAR corrrectly, and you will see a difference. These drivers do what they do because the don't fear prosecution. And why should they?? The only traffic enforcing that is done is on Sound road and only between 9am-5pm. The rest of the day it's like your at LeMans or Daytona and the green flag just dropped. Do THAT and not only will you get this traffic situation under control you might just gain back some respect for the service.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dead right.

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly, they need to do their job every day.  I'm tired of hearing that they gave out so many tickets during this crackdown or that crackdown.  Imagine how much money could be collected if they actually did their job every single day. 

       If I wasn't too old, I would become a special constable and make it my mission to sit at a roundabout for 2 hours per day and collect a fortune in tickets from the idiots driving on and off roundabouts who have no idea what they are doing – some of whom, I hate to say it, are Police Officers.  I have seen many who do not seem to realise that their cars have indicators, and if they do, don't know what they are for. 

  13. Anonymous says:

    191 people arrested for DUI but I never hear of how many are actually convicted.

  14. Anonymous says:

    What’s with the black-out licence plate covers? Pulled up right behind a car at ta stoplight and i cannot read the plate. This must be an attempt to evade identification. I think a couple $500ci fines should put a stop to this.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah, what's with that, plus the illegal window tints, plus the vehicles which are blatantly unroadworthy. Is there a two stream inspection / enforcement procedure – one for friends/caymanians, another for everyone else? It sure does look like it.


    • Confucius says:

      A Ferrari I saw not long ago had no licence plate on the front but there again he was a mate of the old Premier.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Three times today I waited for drivers in large SUVs to negotiate roundabouts one-handed with a cell phone pressed to their ear….how hard is it to get a hands free kit….or better still wait until you have finished your journey….after all how far can you go and how long does it take on this small Island?